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Review: Attachable Lens for Your Cell Phone

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Like most people, my phone is always with me, and serves as my primary camera for spur-of-the-moment pics. But as a Blackberry user, while the image quality is amazing (for a phone), there aren’t any fun bonus features that come with it.

So I was really excited when I got the opportunity to try two attachable cell phone lenses from Photojojo. One is a fisheye lens (think: peephole effect); the other is a combination wide angle/macro lens (macro lets you get real close to objects). They’re simple to attach to any phone; the lenses come with a small metal ring that you stick on to your phone, around the camera. The magnetic lenses stick to the ring. (And they're pretty strong, too.)

I shot the above image 6th Ave. last night with the fisheye lens. The image below lets you see what photos look like with and without the wide angle/macro lens. (The left two are without the lens; the right two are with.) The top two were taken with my colleague’s phone, which actually has a macro setting—she has a Droid—but as you can see, even that doesn’t allow it to focus on a close-up object, as it does with the attachment. The bottom two were taken with my Blackberry. As you can see, the wide angle not only lets you capture more, but the color is a bit more vibrant. (This is probably because it lets more light in.)

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I’m not going to say this is the perfect cell phone accessory, though it is pretty cool. One drawback: while it’s simple to attach to your camera, that metal ring—which has about a 1/3" diameter—could be a problem depending on your phone. On my Blackberry, for example, the ring overlaps part of the battery cover. On the Droid, the ring nearly completely covered the flash.

But at $20 for the wide angle/macro and $25 for the fisheye (or $40 for both), you can’t complain too much. Buy it here.

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Joshua Pramis is an associate online editor and resident tech guru at Travel + Leisure.

Images courtesy of Joshua Pramis and Lyndsey Matthews.

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